Updated Sat, Sep 11, 2010 by Xerin
The Norn are a fairly individualistic and nomadic race that was introduced in Guild Wars: Eye of the North and will be a playable race in Guild Wars 2. Not much is known about the brutish race other than their love for battle and obsession for the strong. They loathe the weak and are completely anarchic. They shun government, leadership, and have no organized military. This presents a lot of possibility for these brutish warriors who have the special ability to transform into an animal spirit.
If you play through GW:EN then you will find out quickly that the Norn do not do politics. They focus entirely on themselves as a single person. There is no military and there is no government. This doesn’t mean that they will not work together. No, they respect those who are strong and come together when the “hunt” is too difficult to take on alone. However, they rarely if ever cooperate with one another. This makes racial relations tricky. Some races, like the Charr, are extremely strong and therefore reflect positively with the Norn while Humans rely too much on government and not enough on the battle.
There was a short time when they were not like this. The Norn unite together in order to take on The Great Destroyer, but soon afterward they split up and return to their nomadic routes. That is, of course, until a new threat emerges.
The movement of the world is cruel to every race and the Norn are not able to easily escape this fact. The Elder Dragon, Jormag (which can be seen now in GW in Drakkar Lake outside of Sifhalla) awakes 50 years after Primordus (the fiery dragon) and begins to send his minions against the Norn. The Norn attempt resist, but their stubbornness to fight alone causes them to being to lose the war. They then retreat into the Shiverpeaks into the old Dwarven fortresses and begin building anew, getting ready to fight once more.
There is no rest for the weary though. The Dredge also wish to claim the Southern Shiverpeaks as their own. The Norn now fight a battle against not only the forces of Jormag but the Dredge as well. Their lust for battle makes this a win/win situation. With many enemies to fight, great ale, and a warm fire they could never be happier.
Of course the Norn would not be a race with some unique ability. They can transform into their animal spirit on will. In GW:EN we are introduced to the various animal spirits and in GW2 we will be able to choose various animal spirit skills to equip as the racial ability. The Wolf, Bear, Snow Leopard, and Raven forms will be available. During character creation you will be able to choose a totem which represents one of these animals, but that is just for your personal story.
It’s hard to assume what the Norn will be up to in GW2. We do know that they will reside in the Southern Shiverpeaks and Hoelbrak will be their capital, but that’s about it. Their major enemy isn’t even Primordus. It’s Jormag, who in himself is one super powerful dragon not to mention that they’ll also be facing off against the Dredge.
One cool thing to note is that the Sons of Svanir worship Jormag. They’re a group of Norn who have turned against the animal spirits and instead follow Jormag. Svanir, for those who don’t know, was the Nornbear that was turned by Jormag and was Jora’s brother. It’s quite possible that one of the storylines will involve hunting down the Sons of Svanir and dealing with “corrupt Norn” who turn into Nornbears instead of the normal shapeshifts.
Of course, there is an endless supply of enemies and few friends in the harsh world of Guild Wars. The Norn will make great allies in the coming battle and will surely be interesting to play.
What are your thoughts? Do you want to play as a giant Norn are the Asura more up your ally? Come share your opinion on our Ten Ton Hammer community forums.